Residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday joined Muslim faithful across the country and the world in marking this year’s Eid-el Fitr, amid terror alert and water-tight security around public places, markets and major interjections within Abuja.
Checks revealed tight security was provided by security operatives drawn from the anti-bomb squad of the army, police, State Security Services (SSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) amongst others.
A visit to some of these places in the Territory revealed that owing to the heavy presence of security operatives, the city recorded light human and vehicular movement, as many stayed in doors for the
Peoples Daily recalls that as part of efforts to ensure hitch-free Sallah celebrations, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had ordered effective and extensive deployment of officers
and men of the Nigeria Police and other special operatives, as well as all necessary logistics to all nooks and crannies of the country.
Expectedly, security officers were positioned at various strategic places in the Territory, to ensure that security measures are reinforced during and after the Sallah celebrations.
Some of the residents who spoke with our correspondent shortly after observing a prayer session attributed the situation to the recent bombings and security threats in the nation’s capital.
A resident, Tanko Ibrahim, said after observing a prayer session in the morning (yesterday) many Muslim faithful decided to return home and remain indoors, instead of moving around to visit friends and
families during the festivities.
Another resident at Utako District, Malam Idris Abubakar, attributed the low key celebrations to the recent happenings in Abuja, citing the double explosions in less than a month that rocked the Nyanya Bus terminal, as enough warning for people to trade carefully.
Meanwhile, some people were of the view that aside the heightened insecurity threats, usually during the first day of every Sallah celebrations, things don’t pick up until the next day.
“Besides the issue of concerns over insecurity, it is usual that on the first days that activities are low, but with time, things are always increasing during festive periods, and Sallah is no different,” explains Adebayo David, a resident in Wuse.
The Eid-el Fitr holiday includes three days of festivities after a month of prayer and dawn-to dusk fasting for Ramadan, when observant Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and intercourse as a way to test their faith.
Nonetheless despite Eid’s peaceful message, FCT and some cities remained on heightened alert, amid fears over terror attack.